What are the best and worst video game collectibles? And what makes a collectible great, or a bit rubbish? Games, especially Triple A releases, have made a habit of dropping as many collectibles as possible over a sandbox to pad out the game time. However that wasn’t always the case. Sometimes you’d get collectibles in much smaller numbers, in ways that translates to gameplay. Other times your met with 50 Spider-Man PS4 backpacks… where did he get that many backpacks!!

So today on Culture of Gaming we’re going to take a look at 3 of the best, and worst, in-game collectibles.

Best Video Game Collectibles


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1. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Masks Masks

Majora’s Mask makes its collectibles fun to get, rather than fun to collect. The masks come in a variety of cool designs and are obtained through playing the game and interacting with their characters, rather than just stuck in certain places. Some are particularly challenging to figure out, but this relies on your puzzle-brain rather than your platforming skills. This is unique in games, and it makes Majora’s Mask stand out. 

Some fans complain that there aren’t many original masks, and too much is copied from Ocarina of Time. But the thing is, the game was made in line year, reusing many assets from the previous game. Even then, giving each mask a story behind its collection and use gives each one a sense of emotional connection. Meaning when you look at all 24 collected on your screen they aren’t meaningless. Each tells a different story.

 2. Spyro the Dragon Reignited Trilogy

There is something about Spyro collectibles that drives the gaming community crazy. It’s usually the endless hunt for that last gem, but the story collectibles in each game are infuriating too. And while it drives everybody nuts, gamers love Spyro collectibles. Spyro the Dragon has extensive in-game guidebooks you can refer to, which tell you how many gems and story items there are in each level, and how many you have.

It’s this ability to keep track that makes Spyro’s collectibles so desirable. Most of the items involve platforming and gliding, but you get plenty of Dragon Eggs (Year of the Dragon) or Orbs (Ripto’s Rage) for merely completing a task or challenge. 

The fact they’re somewhat easy to collect and track means the rush of collecting them is massive. Thats’ probably why we all go crazy forking over gems to MoneyBags… god I hate MoneyBags.

3. The Amazing Spider-Man

Fans love the comic book pages in The Amazing-Spider-Man because they don’t interfere with the actual gameplay. They even start showing up on the map once you’ve collected a certain amount of them. I think this feature would go down a treat in other games. 

Tying collectibles into the origins of a character in this way is something only established media can do. When players are rewarded for their knowledge of a character after going the extra mile you get collectibles that are really special.

Worst Video Game Collectibles

1. Uncharted

I’m a noob at Uncharted (no spoilers here, please!), and while I’m enjoying the game, the collectibles are a bit on the rubbish side. They’re not too hard to see, but they get horribly confused with weapons and ammo, as everything just sparkles at you. But what really makes me dislike them is that they feel unnecessary. They don’t contribute to the gameplay or the story, and there isn’t even any lore to go with them to deepen the game’s world.

You can just look at them in a menu, some look cool, but what’s the point?

2. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

You’ll hear me talk about Crash until I’m blue in the face, but despite tempting me to go after every gem, it doesn’t quite have me doing that. To get every gem in Crash games, you need to complete the levels without dying or missing any crates. Crash levels are challenging and will have even the calmest gamer chucking their controller across the room. Chasing the “don’t-miss-a-crate” gems just seems like torture to me, rather than fun. 

I can understand that for some the reward is amazing and worthwhile, but to me, the effort I have to put in just to get something shiny is too much! Naughty Dog either make shiny things too easy, or too hard, to get.

3. GTA

Many gamers are irritated with the packages in Grand Theft Auto games. It seems that more than a few players have got all bar one of the packages, and ended up with no way of knowing which specific one they’re missing. GTA games lack tracking for collectibles, and this puts gamers off chasing those packages.

In Spyro missing one gem in a level is mildly frustrating, but if you backtrack the small sized levels you’ll eventually get them all. Now imagine that except the map size is absolutely massive. What are the odds of you gaining that last collectible? Slim to none.

What defines the best and worst video game collectibles?

In general, I think several things make collectibles great or not-so-great. They need to be enticing, have a sound tracking system to keep a note of them and contribute to the game itself, too. Collectibles are more popular if they avoid making players go through a tonne of unwanted gameplay they’re not enjoying. Don’t interfere with the gameplay, and don’t make them irrelevant to the game and it’s world.

What do you think some of the best and worst video game collectibles are? Let us know in the comments. 

Alternatively you can follow us on Twitter @thecognetwork. Or check out another editorial on the best live speedruns of all time over here! As always though, thanks for reading COG!


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